11 Feb 2010

Miss Samoa resigns after questions about her Samoan identity

4:20 pm on 11 February 2010

Miss Samoa, Tusisalei'a Hope Pomele, announced her resignation from the role at a press conference in Apia yesterday.

This comes only a few months after she took over from the original Miss Samoa - Jacinta Bourne, who resigned in October for personal reasons.

The Samoa Observer says Ms Pomele felt that officials with the Samoa Tourism Authority, for which she worked, had been disrespectful and offensive in questioning her Samoan identity.

Ms Pomele was born and raised in the United States.

The CEO of the Tourism Authority, Matatamali'i Sonja Hunter says there had been a misunderstanding as the staff only sought Ms Pomele's Samoan details for immigration purposes, as the Miss Samoa title holder needs to travel.